Calling on FIFA to Expel Nigeria from World Cup Soccer in Brazil 2014

Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation is Against FIFA Rules

SEE Call to Action below

By Melanie Nathan and Cathy Kristofferson, February 16, 2014.

Screen Shot 2014-02-16 at 7.04.19 PM Most Nigerians do not seem to care about the fact that LGBT are being persecuted in their country,  supporting a new law that provides lengthy sentences to people who are gay. It is also apparent that most Nigerians do not seem to care about mob (in)justice, notwithstanding the harsh anti-homosexuality laws, known as The Jail the Gay Law.  What Nigerians do seem to care about though, is participating in World Cup Soccer.

In May 2013, The Nigerian parliament passed sweeping anti-gay legislation, which was signed this year by President Goodluck Jonathan. The law was condemned by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, who told the BBC:

“I am very concerned that the rights of LGBT people that’s.. ah.. the sexual orientation right.. are being violated that they are subject to discrimination and I condemn this law of Nigeria because it violates the equality clause both in Nigerian law as well as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which speaks of equality for all.”

The Bill, touted as the Prohibition on Same-sex marriage Bill, in reality has more to do with criminalizing homosexuality, rather than stopping same gender marriages, in a country where homosexual acts were already criminal, and now sets prison terms of up to 14 years. However what has turned out to be seripus repercussion of the bill is the license it seems to have granted to vigilante mobs, resulting in exacerbated persecution of gays, as crowds of Nigerians have been involved in lynchings, assaults, stoning and other violent acts against gays.

At this time, as mobs hunt gays, the LGBT community has become immobilized and is hunkered down in hiding, unable to reach out for help and desperately trying to escape out of the country.

While this is going on, it seems Nigeria would like to continue to enjoy its participation in the world.

It has been said however, that because of their rich oil supply, the country is not concerned about commercial boycotts and officials have been known to brag that they do not care about the rest of the world’s opinion regarding their anti-gay persecution. They believe they are immune for the wrath of the west and the world’s gay community. Here at OBLOGDEE we assert that they are dead wrong!

But we have found one hole in their cocky assertion and that is their love for soccer and the fact that as members of FIFA, the Nigerian soccer team shall be participating in The World Cup 2014. While we may not be able to hit them in their “pocket book” perhaps we can kick them in the balls with a ban by FIFA!

The FIFA rules: denote:

 “Discrimination of any kind against a Country, private person or group of people on account of race, skin colour, ethnic, national or social origin, gender, language, religion, political opinion or any other opinion, wealth, birth or any other status, sexual orientation or any other reason is strictly prohibited and punishable by suspension or expulsion.”http://www.fifa.com/aboutfifa/socialresponsibility/antiracism/

Screen Shot 2014-02-16 at 7.24.43 PMConfederation of African Football President, Issa Hayatou recently  congratulated all of the five African teams that qualified for the FIFA World Cup Brazil 2014: Algeria, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire Ghana and Nigeria.

“..the CAF Executive Committee and African football family, I congratulate the five National Associations – Algeria, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire Ghana and Nigeria for qualifying for the FIFA World Cup Brazil 2014,” said Hayatou. Whilst applauding the high level of performance exhibited during the qualifying phase, the CAF President has also tasked the qualified teams to work hard and be worthy ambassadors of the continent at the final tournament.

Well it seems that all of these countries tout extremely homophobic sentiments and laws, Nigeria is leading the pack with its recent legislative exploit and the resulting untempered milieu of horrendous persecution.

It is now incumbent on the World to hold FIFA responsible in terms of their rules. it is imperative that Nigeria is expelled by FIFA and participating in the World Cup Soccer 2014, and each year thereafter, until such time as the anti-gay laws are repealed.

IF NIGERIA WANTS TO JAIL GAYS FOR THEIR SEXUAL ORIENTATION IN THEIR COUNTRY, WE DO NOT WANT NIGERIA’S SOCCER TEAM ON AMERICAN SOIL:.

Note from BBC : Nigeria will play friendly internationals against Greece and the United States in June as part of their warm-up for this year’s World Cup. The African Champions will play Greece in Philadelphia on 3 June then face USA in Jacksonville, Florida on 7 June. The matches will be part of the Super Eagles’ final preparations as they set up camp in the United States before leaving for Brazil. The fixtures form part of Major League Soccer’s “Road to Brazil” event. Eight teams will play matches across North America between 27 May and 10 June.

We will also be calling on the US Department of State to deny VISAS to Nigeria’s World Cup Soccer Team. The Nigerian World Cup team are scheduled to play all across the USA in warm up matches in June 2014. If the State Department refuses, we will be staging major protests wherever the Nigerian Team goes.

In the meantime -

Here is the President of FIFA’s Contact information:
(If you like this letter, below and would like to participate in this action, please cut and paste it and e-mail it to contact@fifa.org and info@cafonline.com from your own email address, using your own signature line. ALSO please tweet this article to @SeppBlatter)

Joseph S. BLATTER , President FIFA
Address: FIFA-Strasse 20, P.O. Box City:
Zurich ZIP Code: 8044 Country: SWITZERLAND
Phone: +41 (0)43 222 7777 Fax: +41 (0)43 222 7878
E-mail address:
contact@fifa.org
cc. CAF, Confederation of African Football President, Issa Hayatou – info@cafonline.com

February 15, 2014.

RE: Expulsion of Nigeria from FIFA World Cup Soccer 2014.

Dear Mr Blatter,

The Nigerian Soccer Team is guilty of discrimination and persecution and should be banned and expelled fro FIFA World Cup Soccer 2014.

The Nigerian Parliament passed sweeping anti-gay legislation, which was signed this year by President Goodluck Jonathan. The law was condemned by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, who told the BBC:

“I am very concerned that the rights of LGBT people that’s.. ah.. the sexual orientation right.. are being violated that they are subject to discrimination and I condemn this law of Nigeria because it violates the equality clause both in Nigerian law as well as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which speaks of equality for all.”

The FIFA rules note:

“Discrimination of any kind against a Country, private person or group of people on account of race, skin colour, ethnic, national or social origin, gender, language, religion, political opinion or any other opinion, wealth, birth or any other status, sexual orientation or any other reason is strictly prohibited and punishable by suspension or expulsion.”http://www.fifa.com/aboutfifa/socialresponsibility/antiracism/

The Jail the Gays Bill, touted as the ‘Prohibition on Same-sex marriage Bill,’ in reality has more to do with criminalizing homosexuality, rather than stopping same gender marriages, in a country where homosexual acts were already criminal, and now sets prison terms of up to 14 years, based on a person’s sexual orientation. It effectively exlcudes all gays from participating in all forms of society, to include  social, employment, and sports events.

What has turned out to be a further serious repercussion of the bill is the license it seems to have granted to vigilante mobs, resulting in exacerbated persecution of gays, as crowds of Nigerians have been involved in lynchings, assaults, stoning and other violent acts against gays.

Not only is it unsafe for a gay person to be out and open about their sexuality, but unlike heterosexual people, their sexuality is criminalized,  and in this regard Nigerians are guilty of discrimination based on sexual orientation. It is clear that if a team member is found to be a gay person, he would be criminalized, and excluded from participating with the World Cup Team and hence the Nigerians are clearly in flagrant breach of the FIFA rules.

Accordingly Nigeria and the World Cup Soccer team explicitly discriminates against and excludes gay people. Such discrimination is overt and clear due to the explicit laws of the Country.

We are therefore asking that the Nigerian Soccer team be expelled from the 2014 World Cup, in accordance with the rules of FIFA.

Read article at http://oblogdeeoblogda.me/2014/02/16/calling-on-fifa-to-expel-nigeria-from-world-cup-soccer-in-brazil-2014/

Signed:

Melanie Nathan
Executive Director
Private Courts
nathan@privatecourts.com

cc. CAF, Confederation of African Football President, Issa Hayatou – info@cafonline.com

NOTE: Four of the Five African Countries Algeria, Cameroon, Ghana and Nigeria are Homophobic  with criminalizing laws against sexual orientation -

PLEASE TWEET this article to @SeppBlatter,  @FIFAcom  @FIFAWorldCup #worldcup #Brazil2014, #FIFAWorldCup,

=====================================================================

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